Perfect Homemade Bread Rolls


It used to crack me up when my roommate in Redondo Beach used to say ‘bread buns’ and ‘bread rolls’ because really what other kind of buns or rolls are there? But then I thought about it. I guess there are sweet rolls. And cinnamon rolls. And honey buns. So for posterity sake I am specifying that these homemade rolls are bread rolls. Dinner rolls to be more precise.

I used bread dough already in my fridge to make these homemade rolls, but you could probably used about any savory bread dough recipe I’ve ever posted. I do think this recipe is Thanksgiving appropriate as it uses mashed potatoes in the recipe. My dad thought these were about the best homemade rolls he’s ever had.


  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1 c. mashed potato
  • 3 c. lukewarm potato water (reserved from making mashed potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar
  • 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • flour
  • egg wash


  1. Roast a whole head of garlic by wrapping it in aluminum foil and baking for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow to cool and cut off the top of the head. Squeeze out the roasted garlic, measure 2 tablespoons, and set aside.
  2. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, mashed potato, and garlic with water using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook. Add flour and mix until incorporated.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 7 days.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of golf ball. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue making golf ball sized balls of dough and placing them on the cookie sheet so that they are touching until you’ve reached your desired amount of rolls. Dust the rolls with flour and allow to settle for 60 minutes before baking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Just before baking use a serrated bread knife to slash each roll down the middle. Brush each roll with the egg wash. (An egg wash is an egg mixed with a bit of water. You can skip the water and just brush with egg. I once asked my coworker Micah why you add water to make an egg wash. He explained it to me but I no longer remember his explanation. It was for a reason that seemed inconsequential to me.)
  7. Bake rolls for about 30 to 35 minutes, until browned but soft to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

These rolls remind me of the dinner rolls my mom used to make for holidays when I was growing up – I would devour them.

Recipe rating: 


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